European Union probe could threaten Apple's $400M deal to buy Shazam

24 April, 2018, 05:40 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Image Credit Shazam

European regulators said Monday that they're deepening their probe into Apple's acquisition of the music recognition app Shazam over concerns that the deal could limit people's streaming music choices and unfairly weaken companies such as Spotify.

"Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won't face less choice as a result of this proposed merger".

Apple said when announcing the takeover in December that Shazam would be a "natural fit" with its Apple Music streaming service and would help users discover new songs.

Several countries called for an assessment under the EU Merger Regulation, including Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. TechCrunch, which was first to report the acquisition talks, pegged the price at around $400 million. Apple could then use this information to target other users and bring them to Apple Music.

Apple hadn't responded to a request for comment from FOX Business at the time of publication.

The proposed acquisition, which the European Union has the power to block, would give Apple ownership of an app that helps users identify songs before directing them to Apple Music or Spotify AB to listen to and potentially buy or stream them.

In the wake of that announcement, Shazam said it couldn't imagine a "better home" for its platform than Apple.

Additionally, European regulators are anxious that Apple could leverage Shazam and its data to specifically target users of Spotify and other competitors and "encourage them to switch to Apple Music". Analysts say it is poised to overtake Spotify as the market leader in the USA within a year. Shazam has also been experimenting with augmented reality (AR). Analysts say the purchase is a part of its larger move back into music with Apple Music, a service created following its purchase of Dr. Dre's Beats Music in 2014.

In other words, it's a farcical sham of an excuse to mess with Apple.

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